Category Archives: Monthly Roundups

Ragnarök and Roll: December ’18 Roundup

skullface honda-san books

If this is the December roundup, I guess it must be the roundup of 2018 as well–a year that simultaneously felt like it lasted 1,000 years and felt like it lasted six minutes.

It’s been a big year for writing, once again. As of now I’m officially one year into a PhD (!), which, if all goes according to plan, is one third of the way through. I have been told that my first year went pretty well, and bewildered as I am I’ll have to trust my supervisors on that. It feels like I’ve learnt so much, yet at the same time I feel like I’m treading water in a sea of things I still need to know and understand. But that’s probably pretty normal–I don’t have to be an Expert in anything just yet, and I’m having a good time finding my feet and my groove.

I have a journal paper currently in the peer review process, hopefully for publication in the middle of next year–in the meantime, though, if you want to peek at what I’m studying, you can take a gander at this conference presentation I gave (my second ever!) on playing with tropes!

Somehow, I managed to sneak in some feature writing this year too: the AniFem team continues to be a delight to work with, and I’m proud of the work they’ve helped me craft and put out this year. I like all three of the pieces I got published (and the next one in the pipeline, too, but that’s a behind-the-scenes secret) but am particularly fond of this one comparing the relationships in The Camping Anime versus The Ramen Anime. I also wrote a couple of pieces for The Asexual, both published in their journal and for their general website. It feels a little spooky writing so openly about my own experiences with my sexuality (especially that first one), but I’m getting the hang of it with the frame of fiction to guide me. Lady Geek Girl and Friends unfortunately closed its doors early this year, but I had a whale of a time writing for them while it lasted, too.

On the blog this month:

The Paladin Caper: The Gang Saves The World – Rogues of the Republic comes to an end, with a fizzle rather than a bang, and I question whether a big epic plot is really more important than character development.

The Trickster Archetype in Pop Culture, Part One: Down with the System! – the Trickster is a very versatile archetype, which is how I’m able to talk about Marvel’s Deadpool and Roald Dahl’s Matilda in the same post. The first of a series!

A Big Ol’ Pile of Anime Recommendations (2018) – my favourite new series I watched this year, all collected in one place!

Cool web content:

Laid Back Camp (5)

Cursed with Insecurity: Howl’s Moving Castle in Print and Film – a look at the different approaches to Sophie and Howl (and their relationship) in Diana Wynne Jones’ novel versus the Ghibli adaptation, and what kind of message each version sends

Defining and Redefining Popular Genres: The Evolution of ‘New Adult’ Fiction – a journal article about how genre is fake (my mantra for the year), or, at least, how genre should be considered an ever-evolving and organic thing rather than something static and decided by a set group of people. And what the hell is a ‘new adult’ book anyway?

Bloom Into You, Touko Nanami, and the Terror of Social Performance – a character study of Touko and her deep-seated self-doubt, and how her struggles and flaws are relatable.

Double Decker‘s Treatment of Trans Characters Leaves a Lot to be Desired – a breakdown of how exactly the Tiger and Bunny spinoff dropped the ball when it introduced trans characters to its cast, disappointing many viewers (myself included) who were initially excited for the show.

“We Must Be Strong, and We Must Be Brave”: Power and Women in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power – how the delightful reboot places emphasis on different kinds of strength, not just those that come from magical swords.

The Invention of the Passive Fairy Tale Heroine – tracking the shift in fairy tale tropes over time and how they reflected cultural shifts taking place.

On Laid-Back Camp and Nature as Society’s Companion Rather Than Society’s Foe – how my new favourite slice-of-life show upturns the common “hur dur technology bad, get away from it all and experience the wilderness” narrative by portraying tech instead as something that enhances the characters’ experience of nature and brings them closer to each other.

Different Interpretations as Solidarity, Not Opposition – there’s been a lot of talk about how Yuu of Bloom Into You can be read as either an aromantic asexual or a lesbian, and this article takes the “why not both?” approach, in terms of both how sexuality is a spectrum and how different viewer’s interpretations can be valuable to the overall conversation around such things in media.

My gosh, and I think that wraps us up for 2018. As always, thank you for reading, and take care out there in the wide world!



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Dabbing at the Edge of the World: November ’18 Roundup


When this post goes live, I will be on the other side of the country. And jeez, my country is a big country. You can literally get from my state to New Zealand, twice, in the time it takes to travel from one coast to another. But hey, that leaves plenty of time for reading! Or, as it turns out, watching the entirety of Noelle Stevenson’s She-Ra (and injecting magical girl warrior energy directly into the veins to quell flying anxieties. It works surprisingly well!).

Since I’ve been travelling and busily conference-going, there perhaps aren’t as many links as there usually are in the roundup this month. But, as the year winds down, I’m sure we can expect plenty of Good Stuff celebrating the media that has shaped 2018 (I’m particularly excited for the 12 Days of Anime posts that… people who aren’t me diligently put out every year). As for this little corner of the internet, if you like my mythology-meets-pop culture posts, I have an exciting new series (that’s right!) coming your way soon.

On the blog this month:

Queer YA Mini-Reviews: Music, Mythology, and Murder Mystery (not one, not two, but three book reviews as I try out a new format showcasing the versatility of the YA genre and show off how much I’m reading)

“It’s Not Over ’til it’s Over”: The Post-Apocalyptic Optimism of Girls Last Tour (a discussion of a surprisingly heartfelt and gentle story set after the end of the world that rolled out of nowhere to be one of my favourite anime I’ve watched this year)

Cool web content:

In which Polygon publishes the results of a Very Important Investigation about the books you can find in Skyrim. It ends up being not only quite funny but also a lesson in effective worldbuilding!

Impossibilities in Translating Queerness: Suki or Not Suki? – the team that brought us the Queerness Quadrants theory I linked to last time continues their dive into the ins and outs of queer analysis of anime, this time launching into linguistics and how sometimes love can literally get lost in translation.

ConCrit in Comments Only: What Writing Fanfiction Taught Me as an Editor – a professional editor who embraces her fanficcy past talks about why it shouldn’t be shrugged off as work with no merit, as it can teach writers (and readers, and editors) valuable skills about worldbuilding, consistency, and what draws an audience to a story.

How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds – a neat piece from Atlas Obscura about the map-making and worldbuilding methods of various authors.

The Flower Language of Bloom Into You (Part One) (Part Two) – Emily Rand brings her knowledge of flower symbolism to an in-depth analysis of the visual symbolism in Bloom Into You.

Why the “Closeted Homophobe” Trope Needs to Die – you know how if someone is really mean to gay people it definitely just means they’re secretly gay themselves and are angry about it so they’re turning their self-loathing into external bullying? You know how that’s actually a really dumb and harmful stereotype? Vrai goes through the history of the trope in fiction, its real-world implications, and exactly why it’s so nasty in this essay.

That wraps us up for November. Now, soon I have another plane to catch, so I suppose I will get to more reading and see you on the other side (…of the country). Take care!


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Here Be Dragons: October ’18 Roundup

Dragon Pilot (16)

It’s Halloween season! And there’s nothing spookier than deadlines. I don’t have much to say this time, but I did make my 400th WordPress post this month, and I feel like that’s worth noting. That is a fair few posts!! I’m proud to still be creating content all these years after starting this little blog, and proud to see how much I’ve grown as a writer in that time.

Without further ado, here are the things I wrote most recently (and some other great articles from around the web too):

On the blog:

The Prophecy Con: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Magic Crystals (in which I continue my dive into the wonderful Rogues of the Republic series and discover it gets better the further you go along!)

Warrior Women in the Workplace: Mythic Motifs in Dragon Pilot (in which I examine what Hisone and Masotan has in common with Classical mythology, and how the show also breaks away from these tropes it sets up)

On The Asexual:

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is the Ace Coming-of-Age Story We Need and Deserve (in which I have a lot of feelings about this YA novel, and Michael Paramo and the Asexual Journal squad are kind enough to give me a platform to express them. The author of the novel retweeted this and I think I ascended from my body a tiny bit)

And, as a bonus, here is this thread I wrote about the striking premiere of Bloom Into You. Maybe someday this will become a bigger post, but for now, here are some shortform thoughts:

Good good internet content:

Spider-Man: How a Game About Superheroes Got Super Real — having heard endless reports about how the new Spidey game is fantastic, it was nice to get this more personal perspective on what makes it so good: not just the web-slinging adventure, but the resonant Millennial narrative and down-to-earth character development of Peter Parker himself.

Beyond “Canon Gay”: Introducing Queerness Quadrants — Elizabeth Simins lays out a potential way of talking about queer rep in fiction (here through the frame of anime) that goes beyond whether or not something is “canon gay” and gets into the nuances of the way these things can be written. It’s a lit studies methodology, but in accessible internet language! My God! It’s a miracle!!

What a Naked Batman Exposes About the Comic Book Industry — so uh… yeah, so DC showed us Batman’s dick recently, and while that’s not something I’ve necessarily ever wanted to think about, its appearance and subsequent censorship has sparked discussion about why female nudity is considered acceptable and even expected in “mature” comics, but male nudity is not. Double standards, baby. This article goes into very neatly.

Venom, Subtext, and the Race for Onscreen LGBTQ RepresentationVenom starring Tom Hardy is accidentally(?) one of the queerest movies of the year, and the massive positive fandom reaction to it indicates that, as always, there is a hungry audience for this sort of thing (also, as a personal note, Venom is a ridiculously fun movie… whether it was meant to be or not).

Give Me Heroism or Give Me Death — as part of Uncanny’s “Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction” issue, this article examines how action fiction glorifies enduring and struggling through pain, and how this alienates people with actual chronic pain issues.

And of course it was time for a new anime season, which means a pile of first impression posts! Check out AniFem’s guide to what’s good this season (as well as what was good last time too) and the premiere reviews on Otaku Lounge and Rabujoi!

Podcast time!


I’ve been having a lot of fun on Book Riot. Their YA podcast is a lovely conversational series about book recommendations and things going on in the publishing world. If you want something a bit more focussed, scripted, and educational, though, I would send you in the direction of Annotated. It’s full of strange stories and fun facts about various facets of publishing and literary history–this episode about how to hack the New York Times bestseller list (it’s been done!) was particularly fascinating, and nicely presented.

Spirits also had a very fun episode on the fae this month which is worth checking out. It’s their 100th!

And that wraps us up for this month, I think. Take care out there everyone!


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Bananice: September ’18 Roundup


Seasonal anime is an efficient, yet deeply frightening, method of measuring time. Suddenly all these shows are up to their tenth and eleventh episodes when, you swear, you were reading all the premiere reviews only last week. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a part of seasonal discussions and having my finger on the pop cultural pulse (I’m now the most in-the-know and up-to-date about what’s coming out and what the goss around it is in my friendship circle, which is a strange but powerful feeling), but it also gives me cause to lie down and curl up in a little cosy exisential crisis now and then. What do you mean the swashbuckling time-travel theatre anime is finishing in a minute? And, ergo, what do you mean I’m one month closer to having to present my Confirmation Seminar??

September comes to a close, and it’s time to see what I, and others, have been writing about this month:

On the blog:

The Palace Job: A High Fantasy Heist Fantasy (a review of a rollicking fantasy novel with a lovable and diverse cast)

Once More, With Feeling: Teens and Time Loops in Revue Starlight (a bonus post, because I had an unreasonable amount of emotions about Nana “Banana” Daiba, unexpectedly the most relatable character in Revue Starlight, and wanted to get them out while they were timely)

Hyouka and the Jerk-Genius Detective Trope (an analysis of my favourite arc of the high school mystery series, and what it says about the genre overall and about its main character)

Cool web content:

Free! is airing again, which means it’s time to dust off the discussions of “manservice” and “pandering” that have followed it since it was announced. So Free! panders to women, and maybe even panders to slash fans, does it? Does that make it bad simply on that merit? A certain chunk of the population thinks so, and Zeria makes an attempt here to unpack the tricky boundary between personal taste and dudes writing something off just because it’s obviously aimed at women. With the ever-important fact reiterated that everything panders to someone, because that’s how marketing works–you’re probably just not used to things not pandering to you, and so it stands out. The video transcript can also be found here!

Fantasies and Nightmares in the Reverse Harem Genre — a post which nicely sums up the ups and downs of the “reverse harem” (female protagonist surrounded by male love interests) genre, and how it can equally offer icky disasters full of romanticised abuse or stories of female empowerment and true love, depending on what you pick up.

The Expendable Disabled Heroes of Marvel’s Infinity War — adding to the long list of things Infinity War didn’t do great at is this perspective on the way the disabled characters–Bucky, Nebula, Thor, and Rhodey–are treated in the film, and how this shines light on the various unhappy tropes that disabled characters fall into into media.

Hope, Change, and Monsters: The Legacy of Digimon Adventure — you know what was my absolute jam as a kid? Digimon. This article explores some of the reasons the series was so resonant and has stuck so powerfully in the minds of so many people.

Demons at the Dinner Table: How Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family Glosses Over Domestic Abuse — I have recently sung the praises of The Fate Cooking Show, but it’s also important to acknowledge that there have been some issues with transferring the franchise to a slice-of-life setting. Namely, as examined here, how Sakura and Shinji’s canonically abusive relationship is given the fluffy “everything is fine” treatment. It was something that bothered me about their episode, and it’s articulated very well here.

Don’t Let Telltale Milk Your Fandom Until They Pay the Workers They Screwed — so… Telltale Games is shutting down. This has been big news this month, and this article sums up the whole kerfuffle pretty neatly, from the sudden layoff of nearly all of the company’s staff to the fandom reaction, which has been, in some places, not in good taste. Fandom entitlement is a hell of a thing. I’m sad that Telltale won’t be making any more games too, but the mentality that fans are “owed” a satisfying ending to their favourite story, and that receiving that is more important than the livelihoods of the people who made it, is all kinds of awful.

And to finish, the Revue Starlight analysis on Atelier Emily continues to be top notch, so I’m linking it again!

And that’s a wrap. Take care everyone!

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A Revue of Reviews: August ’18 Roundup

Butterfly Soup (68)

What’s hype this month? YA, that’s what. If it wasn’t obvious from the two big posts about coming-of-age stories I put out this August, it’s a set of narrative tropes that I find myself constantly drawn back to. Following sites like Gay YA, Book Riot, and YA Pride helps a lot too, since they’re giving me an unending influx of news and recommendations and I’m more aware than ever of all the amazing stories out there, especially in the field of queer YA. I think I’m especially intrigued by that area since I didn’t have a particularly queer YA-hood myself, and only started thinking about these things in my early twenties. Even without taking that into account, that period of my life flew by so fast and so crazily that I feel like I need to consume many, many novels (and other media) ruminating on it to put it in perspective and figure out what even happened.

More than that, though, there are just so many cool, varied, and genuinely good stories happening in this field at the moment. Just this month I read Alice Oseman’s I Was Born For This, a moving look at fame, friendship, and fandom that I finished in two sittings; I reread Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark, a psychological thriller that features a murder mystery but no dead lesbians; and I started Kathryn Ormsbee’s Tash Hearts Tolstoy, which promises a delightfully intertextual tale about storytelling with an ace main character. My ‘want to read’ list is overflowing, but I’m sneaking these in when I can and they’re so darn good.

I’ve also been reading some very fun fantasy novels, reviews of which will start going up in September. But what did I publish this month?

On the Blog:

Butterfly Soup: Queer Romance, Geek Humour, and the Authentic Teen Experience (a review of a visual novel about the trials and troubles of growing up, with plenty of loving nods to late ’00s anime fandom and a very sweet romance)

Revue Starlight and the Unreality of the Stage (and Why It Works) (a look at Revue Starlight‘s use of magic, theatre, and magic theatre)

Country Roads, Take Me to Hell: The Spooky Small Town, the “Returning Home” Plot, and the Coming-of-Age Story (a dive into what makes the spooky, spooky settings of Life is Strange, Night in the Woods, and Oxenfree so effective and so relevant to their character stories)

Internet Content:

Speaking of YA! PBS is putting out a series of great bite-sized videos about the history and evolution of various genres, from sci-fi to romance to everything in between. The evolution of YA is always fascinating to get into, so I’ll leave this one here as a start and would encourage you to check the rest of them out if you’re interested (whoops, it’s more Linday Ellis! I know, I know. She’s just good).

Why Does Marvel Hate New Readers? – what’s the most daunting numerical-based task known to humanity in our modern world? Complex physics? No, it’s trying to get into comics. This article goes into the weirdness of comic issue numbering, as well as other staples like crossover events and spinoffs, and how they alienate and confuse prospective readers instead of drawing them in.

By Returning to Their Roots, Dark Magical Girls Could Provide Hope – the Dark Magical Girl is not a new thing, despite its popularity as a genre of its own in our post-Madoka world. As this article outlines, it’s also not necessarily a bad thing, citing some historical MG shows that have featured tragedy and suffering, only for it to be overcome by those values of hope and love in the end, leading to valuable catharsis and inspiration.

A Perspective on the Intersection of Intimacy, Romance, and Fandom — we’ve all seen this before: a pair of fictional characters are canonically Just Good Friends, but the fandom does not see it that way and they become a romantic ‘ship. And hey, that’s fine, but this article raises the interesting and important point that this attitude–the assumption that two people who are close can surely only be so close because their love is romantic/sexual rather than platonic–speaks to a bigger issue about how society sees intimacy, and can cut people on the aromantic and/or asexual spectrums out of the discussion.

Steven Universe‘s Creator Has Done More for LGBTQ Visibility Than You Might Know – an interview with Rebecca Sugar where she talks passionately about her work and her drive to provide representation for children.

In Defense of Romantic Comedies — given that I recently stayed up late watching Notting Hill and blubbering, a post that speaks for the power and positive potential (despite some of its negative tropes) of the humble rom-com seems pertinent. Plus, the opening suggestion that rom-coms are a form of speculative fiction is very intriguing and, the more I think about it, true.

For Those Who Remain Behind: The Third Wheel in Revue Starlight and Revolutionary Girl Utena — both these shows star swashbuckling schoolgirls, and both have plotlines that deal with jealousy and self-doubt in their side characters. Natasha breaks down how they do them differently, and why she felt one was more effective than the other.

And, if you’re also watching Revue Starlight, you should check out Atelier Emily’s episodic reviews and analysis! They’re a delight every week, and get into a lot of visual symbolism and historical context that I find really valuable.

And that’s it for now I think! As always, thanks for stopping by, and take care out there.


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Food for Thought: July ’18 Roundup

Emiya Menu (122)

I must be a real adult now; I got a set of really nice kitchen knives for my birthday and was a whole new kind of excited I’ve never been about homewares before. A quality, sharpened knife makes all the difference, you know! There’s something immensely satisfying about dicing up food with one.

See, this is the kind of thing I say now. My show Today’s Menu for This One Student House Full of Transformers and Anime Figures will be coming to a streaming service near you next season.

Anyway, my goodness! It’s been a big month for blog output. There’s been ace-positive demons, lesbian bear-girls, and all kinds of fantastical goings-on in between. As always, thanks for reading!

On the blog:

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Swords and Saucepans: Domesticity, Masculinity, and Emiya Shirou (in which I appreciate the protagonist of Fate/Stay Night–not something I thought I’d be doing, if you asked me a few years ago!–and how he embraces both traditionally “masculine” and traditionally “feminine” traits without mockery from the narrative)

Farah Mendlesohn’s Four Funky Factions of Fantasy (in which I lead a whirlwind tour through one theorist’s set of categories for fantasy fiction. It’s about how the tale is told, not just what happens!)

On Anime Feminist:

Going Beyong Severance: Metaphorical and Literal Queerness in Yurikuma Arashi (in which I dive deep into the many tangled layers of allegory and symbolism about queerness in that show with the bears, and how it’s all the more effective for actually having queer protagonists)

On The Asexual:

Asexual Positivity in a Game About Sexy Demons (in which I get just a teensy bit personal as I reflect on Cute Demon Crashers and its impact on my journey to identifying as ace. It’s my first post for these guys, and it also features in a printed edition of the journal!)

Fresh and funky web content:

Let’s start with a video essay again: this one’s about how sometimes we like things—love them even—that turn out to be cruel and problematic upon reflection when we’re older and wiser. This video looks at H.P. Lovecraft, the tricky question of “can you be a queer fan of a homophobic writer?”, and the complicated heart of what exactly makes these works of cosmic horror so resonant (even if it’s not what the author intended).

It was the start of a new anime season this month (again! The damn things just keep happening. Curse the disorientating nature of the passage of time!) which means it’s premiere review season once more! Be sure to check out AniFem’s collection (Vrai dives into the trash so you don’t have to), Artemis’ anime taste tests, and Rabujoi’s episodic reviews if you want to keep up with the deluge and get a better idea of what you might want to watch.

Darling in the FranXX: A Complete Summary of a Disaster – if, like me, your knowledge of Darling in the FranXX comes from seeing other people’s baffled reactions to it, this post is a good summation of what exactly this divisive series was about and what exactly the problems with it were. Boy, it sure is something.

Revue Starlight and Takarazuka 101 — this neat and informative thread gives some background and context to the hit new “Love Live meets Utena” anime that everyone’s talking about.

Dreaming Machines: Fairy Tales in the Age of Artificial Intelligence — what is a fairy tale made of, and can new ones be written in this day and age?

Reflecting on Attack on Titan: How the Narrative Failed Its Premise — an ex-fan of the (once) massively popular Attack on Titan details how the series went off the rails into increasingly un-subtle fascist allegory, and the directions it could have gone instead to create a story that better emphasises what the readers were actually invested in–the characters. If you want more, there’s a companion post about how exactly the series failed its characters in the first place, and another about how it specifically failed its women and queer characters.

The Dark Knight: The Best and Worst Thing to Happen to Superhero Movies — on the anniversary of the acclaimed Batman movie’s release, The Mary Sue takes a look at its impact on the superhero genre and the ol’ stigma that films must be dark and brutal to be taken seriously.

We Tried to Uncover the Long-Lost “American Sailor Moon” and Found Something Incredible — a wild ride of investigative journalism searching for the mythical pilot episode of an American magical girl show that never came to be.

For a nice bookend effect, here’s another video essay, in which Lindsay Ellis convinces me that I never need nor want to watch the movie-musical RENT. Content warning: a big point here is that it spectacularly fails in being a sympathetic story about the AIDS crisis, so there’s some confronting material about the disease and about that harrowing period of history.

And oh, what is that? Finally another podcast recommendation??


This one’s I Don’t Even Own a Television, a podcast about books! Specifically, books that have received critical acclaim and/or spent time on bestseller lists, but that are ridiculous and terrible in one way or another. It’s not all hate-reading, though, and they always make sure to talk about high points in their personal experience with the book as well as analyse what makes it so (potentially) appealing as well as what makes it silly. Scroll through the list and find a title you recognise–I had some good fun with their discussions of Ready Player One, the Maximum Ride series (from “The James Patterson Fiction Factory”, in their words. Drag him, my dudes. Drag him), and Casino Royale.

And that’s that for this month. Take care, everyone!

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The Principal of the Thing: June ’18 Roundup

Princess Principal (17)

This will be a brief preamble, since there’s not much to report on (or wax poetic about) this month. After slaving away over a hot seminar most of May, I sort of unofficially took the first little bit of June off to just dive into some fiction instead of critical reading. The neat thing about doing a creative writing/lit studies postgrad project is that it’s relatively easy to convince yourself that reading fun books is still research; which is a handy thing when you are simultaneously exhausted but also filled with the agonising need to be Productive at all times. It’s also always nice to stumble into a really good book and remember with a flash just how fun reading can be. Expect some reviews over the next few months!

I’ve also been doing a lot of editing, both for uni projects and for web-based ones, so I can confirm there are some exciting new feature articles on their way soon! But for now, let’s focus on the present:

On the blog this month:

Loyalty Among Thieves: Found Family in Princess Principal (in which meaningful, interesting character relationships win out over spy capers every time)

Boy Meets Boy: A Fantasy Novel…? (in which there’s something just a little bit magical about this story of happy gay teens)

Due to popular demand (well, a couple of people expressed interest, which still totally counts) I’ve also added a Book Recs page to the blog, where I’ll compile an ever-growing list of cool and interesting non-fiction I come across in my studies. There is crossover between categories of course, but for now at least they’re divided into Mythology and Foklore, Gender/Queer Studies, and Genre Studies. If any of that sounds neat, roll on over and take a look!

Web Content:

Late to the party I know, but wow! That Lindsay Ellis lady with the video essays is pretty good! I’ve been especially having fun with her deep dive into film theory using the Michael Bay Transformers movies. They’re funny, informative, and it’s always a good time to call these movies out on their nonsense (and, of course, it’s always a good time to look at pop culture through an academic lens instead of setting it aside as “low art”).

In Defense of Escapism — over on Uncanny Magazine, Kelly McCullough asks why “it’s escapism” is such a damning phrase when escapism is so important, especially to marginalised groups.

My Fave is Problematic: Kill La Kill — the question “is this work of fiction Feminist(TM) or not?” is not one with an easy answer, nor is it a particularly useful one when it comes down to it. Rianne Torres digs into exactly this through the lens of the divisive series Kill La Kill.

Lady Bird and the Slice of Life Genre in Film — the slice-of-life genre is a staple of anime (and one of my favourites, when done well) but it’s less common in Hollywood film. Could we consider something like The Florida Project or Lady Bird to be slice-of-life by the same parameters? Mythos gets into it.

In Praise of How the Women of Ocean’s 8 Eat — you may not notice it until you think about it, but there are a strangely strict set of tropes around female characters eating in movies. This article lays them out and talks about some works that subvert them, using the recent Ocean’s 8 as a jumping off point.

Solo: A Shortcoming of Gender and Sexuality — big movie producers are back on their BS announcing that their characters are queer on social media while not representing it in the movie itself. Also designing sexy lady robots for dudes to date.

Queer Young Adult Fiction Grows Beyond the Coming Out Story — a neat summary of how YA has become one of the pioneering mediums not just for LGBTQ+ representation, but for representation that goes beyond the usual tropes and presents stories of all kinds and genres to its readers.

Let Queer Characters Be Happy — exactly what the title suggests, though in this case arguing the case specifically within the medium of video games. This discussion is usually framed around books, movies, and TV series, so it’s cool to see this critical lens being applied to game stories too.

And just for a bit of fun, and in keeping with the genre studies theme, over on YouTube one baffled British man is undergoing a years-long heroic journey through the bootleg-toy-infested fantasy realm of dollar stores and it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen:

Take care, everyone!

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